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Ruth Keppel Hagerman

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Ruth Keppel Hagerman Obituary
Ruth Keppel Hagerman

Virginia Beach - Ruth Keppel Hagerman passed away peacefully on March 4, 2014. She was a resident at Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Mrs. Hagerman was preceded in death by her husband Captain George Mellotte Hagerman, USN, Retired and one brother, Ernest Keppel of Richmond, Virginia. She is survived by her three children: Polly Long and husband David Long of Mount Airy, North Carolina; Peggy Wadlington and husband Wayne Wadlington of Mechanicsville, Virginia and George Hagerman, Jr. of Virginia Beach, Virginia; three grandchildren: David Long Jr. and wife Leanne Long of Belville, North Carolina; Patrick Long and wife Caroline Long of Houston, Texas and Keppel Wood of Annapolis, Maryland; and four great-grandchildren: William and Alex Long of Belville, North Carolina; Victoria, and Katia Long of Houston, Texas.

Ruth attended Green Mountain Junior College in Vermont and then completed her studies and graduated from Duke University. She was a prolific poet and fiction writer attending classes and workshops at Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University, and the University of Virginia. Her writings were published by the Poetry Society of Virginia, The Caribbean Writer, and the Virginia Historical Society. She won many awards, including first place for "Hosing Down Mr. Lincoln," a poem entered in the 2002 Christopher Newport University annual writing contest.

During her husband's thirty years in the Navy, Mrs. Hagerman and their children lived in Bremerhaven, Germany; Paris, France; Seoul Korea; Washington D.C.; and Virginia Beach. Her poetic writings reflect the many cultures in which she lived. In Seoul she taught English to Korean women and children, and was a proud member of the Royal Asiatic Society.

After her husband retired from the Navy, the couple remained in Virginia, living in Richmond, Charlottesville, Mechanicsville, and Virginia Beach. They generously shared their love of travel with their children and grandchildren. Ruth always said that her greatest joy was her family.

In 1996, under her pen name of Keppel Hagerman, she wrote a narrative poem entitled "Dearest of Captains," published by Brandylane Publishers. In many voices, it tells the life story of Sally Louisa Tompkins, the only woman to be commissioned an officer on either side of the Civil War, and whose Robertson Hospital in Richmond had the highest recovery rate of any military hospital, North or South. Her book was received with enthusiasm by reviewers as "a lyrical and poignant tribute to the resolve and honor of a woman whose life was dedicated to healing" and "an accomplishment reminiscent of Stephen Vincent Benet's skill in the genre."

A memorial service for Mrs. Hagerman will be held at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 36th Street, Virginia Beach, Virginia on Wednesday, March 12. The Family will receive visitors in the fellowship hall immediately afterward. A graveside service will be held that same afternoon at the Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street, Richmond, Virginia at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the . H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Is handling arrangements and online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Mar. 9, 2014
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